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These Performances Prove Grand National Hopeful Blaklion Deserves Another Shot

05-04-2018

Blaklion started last year’s Grand National as SP favourite but let followers down with a disappointing fourth-place finish. Each-way backers were paid out, but a quarter of 8/1 doesn’t exactly capture the imagination.

The nation’s favourite steeplechase handicap returns to Aintree racecourse on Saturday 14th April and it appears traders haven’t learned their lesson. Odds compilers were in a forgiving mood when putting together the ante-post list and have Blaklion in a commanding position.

Sorting through the Grand National horses odds, those looking to get in early and secure a slice of value will find Blaklion priced at 12/1 with Paddy Power. That quote makes him second favourite with only Total Recall ahead in the betting at 10/1. Tiger Roll (14/1) and Anibale Fly (16/1) lead the chase.

So, after last year’s effort, why are those in the know so desperate to support the Nigel Twiston-Davies representative? Read on for a selection of Blaklion’s best performances to date which show what he brings to the table…



Source: Racing Post via Twitter

Becher Handicap Chase – 09/12/2017

The nine-year-old gelding arrives at Aintree boasting recent course winning form, having claimed the Becher Handicap Chase in Liverpool late last year. Run over 3m 1f, he still has a bit to find on that effort if he’s to match the demands of this 4m+ slog over 30 fences but was a nine-length winner that day, staying on strongly at the finish.

The fact Blaklion had more to give at the post ensures a share of shrewd punters would’ve instantly marked him down as one to watch in the Grand National and, when winning that race, he beat some very good horses along the way. The Last Samuri is expected to re-oppose in April but got nowhere near the Becher champion and the margin of victory would’ve been far greater if the race had been run over the national trip.

RSA Chase – 16-03-2016

Blaklion was again in winning form on the big stage when claiming the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016. Three miles was the distance but players shouldn’t be put off by that as he got around the national last year, managing the jumps and keeping pace with the main players for the most part.

In the RSA, we saw an example of what Twiston-Davies’ runner was capable of. Going as an 8/1 shot, he was expected to simply make up the numbers but put in a stunning performance to edge Shaneshill by ½ a length. He didn’t get the clearest of runs that day or the end result would’ve been a little more convincing. Again, he showed the determination to stay on to the finish and that’ll come in handy on Merseyside.



Source: At The Races via Twitter

Towton Novices Chase – 06/02/2016

Back in February 2016, we saw the Grand National second favourite win the Towton Novices Chase and the reason that effort sticks in the mind is because he hammered runner-up Definitly Red by a whopping eight-lengths. Brian Ellison’s nine-year-old should line up on April 14th and has improved since that loss but not quite as much as the progressive Blaklion has, it would appear.

Keeping those runs in mind, Blaklion rates as a runner with winning form at the big events, the edge over a number of his main rivals in the national, plenty in the tank over the longer distance and previous experience of getting around the course. He’ll be difficult to ignore.




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